BlackBerry Priv Android phone official, will launch this year

BlackBerry has officially confirmed plans to launch an Android-powered smartphone called BlackBerry Priv, by the end of the year.

Following months of hints and speculation, chairman and CEO John Chen confirmed the news during the firm’s quarterly earnings call on Friday.

Chen said the name for the device, which has been known by its Venice codename until earlier today, was inspired by BlackBerry’s track record for securing the privacy of customer data.

As rumoured, it’ll be a flagship slider device running on Android with full Play Store access and will support Android for Work on the BES12 enterprise security platform.

Chen wrote: “[W]e are focused on making faster progress to achieve profitability in our handset business.

Today, I am confirming our plans to launch Priv, an Android device named after BlackBerry’s heritage and core mission of protecting our customers’ privacy.

“Priv combines the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform.”

See also: Best Android phones 2015

The company hasn’t confirmed spec or pricing details yet, but says Priv be available prior to the end of the calendar year in major markets.

Previous rumours have suggested the Priv will rock a 5.4-inch display with a 1440p resolution. It is also thought there’ll be a Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of RAM as well as an 18-megapixel rear facing camera.

We’d imagine there’ll be official confirmation of those tech specs in the very near future.

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